Tag Archives: exercise


Health Infographic: Skip the Gym and Work on the House


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Do you have a busy weekend planned working around the old homestead? Those home maintenance chores can be a real workout literally.
Whatever you have planned I can guarantee it will get your heart rate elevated and your muscles will be tired and sore. Like I said the chores you have planned will rival any workout you might have done in a gym.

All exercise programs have one thing in common and that is to burn calories while getting the heart rate up, toning and conditioning muscle groups for strength and flexibility.

If you take a look at home maintenance tasks you will find that all of them meet this requirement at some level.
The more strenuous the job the more calories you will be burning. It is that simple. Not to mention there will be no gym membership fees involved Waiting in line to use equipment will be a thing of the past. Because I doubt there are many people waiting in line to use your lawn mower, rake and paint brush.

Having a do it yourself mentality not only saves you money it will help to keep you healthy and fit.
It is not hard to work up a sweat when pulling out the old carpet and laying down the new. Or maybe replacing the old roof is on the agenda, just think of the calories you will burn carrying those shingles up the ladder.

So pull out those old appliances and get those muscles working. Take on that project of tiling the kitchen. The benefits to your home and physical health will be enormous.

Get your home project list ready, calculate the calories burned per hour and plan your attack.
A well maintained home is a source of enormous pride as is a well-toned and healthy body.
Luckily you can accomplish both at once.



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Product Spotlight: Little Dragon Pre Workout Shot

Cranberry flavoured food supplement with vitamins and amino acids

Do you want to get the most out of your workout? Do you need a pre workout sports drink specially designed to to jump-start a workout or maximise your training or exercise program giving your body an intense burst of energy? Is flagging energy stopping you? Are you struggling to fit in the recommended levels of exercise?

Whether you are getting ready for a walk, run or cycle, a big match, a fitness programme or rigorous training schedule, Little Dragon Pre Workout is the ready-to-drink pre workout shot for you.

This sports supplement has a unique formulation packed with amino acids, caffeine for stimulation while B vitamins work to release energy. Pre Workout helps you to get the most out of your training or sport for maximum staying power. A carbohydrate free stimulation shot for your exercise program.

Unlike other pre workout sports drinks, this convenient shot doesn’t need refrigeration, so you can pack it in your gym bag or keep it handy for when you need that extra energy.

Little Dragon Pre Workout is sugar-free. Use it 30 minutes before your exercises or workout to get the maximum effect.

Benefits at a Glance
Energy Release
Fat Free
Sugar Free
Food facts

Contains caffeine
No sugar
Gluten free
Nut free
Milk free
Soya free
Not suitable for vegetarians

Water, Taurine, Arginine AKG, Acetyl L-Carnitine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Beta Alanine, Citrulline DL Malate, Caffeine. Acidulants – Citric Acid, Malic Acid. Flavouring – Cranberry Flavouring. Colouring – Carminic Acid. Preservatives – Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. Sweetener – Sucralose. Vitamins – Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).


About the Company
Dragon Nutrition are the people behind the ground-breaking Little Dragon Shots range of functional food supplements. Dragon Nutrition is the emergent leader in the development and manufacture of products and supplements for the sports, fitness, lifestyle, health and wellness sectors.

At Dragon Nutrition we use widely-researched ingredients to develop functional supplements designed to help you deal with a hectic lifestyle and bring back harmony and balance in a chaotic and hectic world.

Dragon Nutrition is a member of the J Donohoe Beverages Group, with roots going back over 130 years in beverage manufacturing and distribution. Our team brings a wealth of experience in the supplement arena, particularly in the ready-to-drink shot and beverage market.



Company: Dragon Nutrition
Brand: Little Dragon
Origin: Ireland
Category: Dietary Supplement
Packaging: 60ml shot
Claims: Vitamin Enriched
Variants: 24g Hydrolyzed Protein, Pre-Workout, B-Vit Gold, Power Focus, Intense Energy
Price: £24.00 (box of 12)
Where to Buy: Direct on Website
Website:  dragon-shots.com


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Soda-Burning Exercises

Instead of appealing to the perpetual dieter looking for ways to cut out calories, the Coca-Cola Work It Out Calculator speaks to the fitness buff who would rather burn the calories. It also does the important job of encouraging activity for the former. While a healthy diet is one thing, exercise is something that really boosts metabolism and, let’s face it, allows people to indulge from time to time guilt-free.

A website, the Coca-Cola Work It Out Calculator lets people select their favorite drinks and suggests workouts that will burn the calories in them. For instance, there is 139 calories in a can of Coke, which can be burned playing basketball for 17 minutes, vacuuming for 51 minutes or salsa dancing for 14 minutes. It also provides information on Guideline Daily Amounts, nutrition and calorie consumption.

Full Article @ TH

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cardboard bike

For $9 in materials, a practical cardboard bike

It doesn’t surprise me that the guy who invented the practical cardboard bike is Israeli. It’s a very entrepreneurial country.
Now, anyone can build a cardboard bike. I could, but it would just collapse it anyone tried to ride it. We’ve seen some clever wooden bikes before, but this is a cardboard bike. Izhar Gafni went further, and for $9 in parts and after a year and a half of trial-and-error, he came up with a mass-producible design that could retail for $20 to $60. He says that mass production of the bike will begin in just a few months. Will this invention change the world, or will it fail to catch on, like the Segway?
The bike has no metal parts, and even the bearings are made of recycled materials (Gafni won’t say what). The secret is a mysterious resin coating that makes the bike both water- and fire-proof. Longevity is unknown, but a pushbike Gafni made for his daughter is still on the road after months.
The bike (right), which weighs only about 20 pounds, seems to be headed for production. It’s aimed at helping put some of the world’s poorest countries, including in Africa and South America, on wheels. At Inhabit, a commenter wrote: “Exciting! We are missionaries in Central America and can see a tremendous positive impact that this bike could bring to the poor here. Can we get more info on importing this technology?”
Gafni, who was inspired by reports of a cardboard canoe, told Reuters, “Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half with lots of testing and failure until I got it right.” Do you think the Wright Brothers did it this way? Well, yes. But they didn’t call upon the principles of Japanese origami, as Gafni did.
Full Article @ MNN

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Is Coffee a Performance-Enhancing Drug?

Whether we like it or not, caffeine is classified as a drug: A naturally occurring substance in the alkaloid family, it counts among its distant relatives nicotine, opium, and cocaine. Unlike most of its seedier cousins, however, it’s not only legal but almost universally consumed. But does caffeine count as a performance-enhancing drug, and should it be banned as such?

Much has been made about doping in sports: Between the skeptical clearance of Roger Clemens, the gave-up-his-defense-so-he-must-be-guilty fate of Lance Armstrong, and the public shaming of track star Marion Jones, it seems like every athletic venture has been tainted by drugs in one way or another. But does coffee count?

Semi-inconclusive academic and scientific studies show that caffeine does enhance athletic performance: Not only does it improve alertness, but it also appears to make fast folks faster and potentially delays the depletion of muscle glycogen stores, which is a boon for performance athletes. (Downsides: It’s a diuretic, which can be inconvenient at race time, and too much of this good thing causes nausea, headaches, and cramping, and can speed dehydration.)

The question becomes, then, whether ingesting caffeine before play or contest gives one athlete an unfair advantage over another, and whether the drug (and its most popular vehicle, coffee) should be banned from competitive sports.

Some say no: I say…well, to be honest, I don’t know. The coffee-loving side of me insists that, when taken in moderation as a regular part of the diet, coffee is no more or less impactful than over-the-counter vitamin supplements. But the less-caffeine-addled (and more athletic) side of me concedes that a drug’s a drug, and any substance that alters performance for the better suggests an unfair advantage indeed. Personally and anecdotally, I don’t always have coffee before a regular ol’ morning run, but I do tend to enjoy a cup before I race; my average race pace is way faster than my average jog pace, and while I can’t be sure it’s the cuppa joe that does the trick, I do admit to not wanting to find out by cutting it from my pre-race ritual.

But that’s me, and my races are recreational: What does the addition of a little caffeine to an Olympian’s contest preparation mean? Should there be a drug test for speed-boosting espresso or high-jump pumping pumpkin-spice lattes?

What do you think: Should caffeine from coffee (as opposed to, say, pills) be banned or regulated when it comes to sports? Or doesn’t it matter?

Full Article @ SeriousEats

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YogaRave from Argentina is a Healthy Party Alternative

This odd combination of stretching, meditation and party music has spawned an entirely new way to have fun in a healthy atmosphere.  The idea started in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2007 among a group of friends that were tired of nights of excess and the terrible after effects. The creators and friends, Rodrigo Bustos and Nicolás Pucci, had the first party in Rodrigo´s house and although only 15 people showed up it was an immediate success.  The only thing that was missing was the music.  Rodrigo and Nicolás, who are also musicians, decided to start a group called the So What Project! that would use mantras to create music that could be played at the Yoga Rave parties.

Little by little the parties began to take off and have become quite popular in Argentina and around the world.  The parties themselves begin with a meditation period which then moves into the Yoga portion where bodies can be seen contorting and stretching in different ways.  Once the yoga portion is complete the music begins complete with screens and light shows.  The parties normally last around 4 hours in total. The So What Project! has been instrumental in marketing this new trend around the world.  Recently at an event in Berlin more than 30,000 people showed up and Nicolás and Rodrigo where more than happy to play for all of them.

Analysis & Impact
In a Global world of excess it´s refreshing to see individuals, especially young people looking for healthy ways to socialize and have a good time.  The effects of drugs and alcohol take their toll over time and more and more young people are becoming considered about their health at an earlier age.  YogaRave is a global trend that offers an alternative to the normal alcohol and drug induced parties that can be seen in any city around the world.  By combining meditation, yoga and music you can be sure you will exercise your mind, body and spirit.  YogaRave makes the statement that you can have a good time in a group setting with music and movement in a healthy environment that won´t  have you reaching for aspirin and vitamin water the next day.

As more young people become educated on health and the effects of drugs and alcohol we can see trends like YogaRave continue to grow.  While the majority of people attending YogaRave events are young there is no reason older age groups can´t enjoy this type of gathering.  Similar to Functional beverages that offer flavorful products that also have health benefits YogaRave offers a complete activity that stimulates the mind, body and soul with no negative effects.

YogaRave Website

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Coconut water: Good workout drink or not?

It’s got nutritional benefits you won’t find elsewhere, but be careful of the sugar content.

You’ve just finished a butt-blasting boot-camp workout. Drenched with sweat, you ponder your rehydration options.
Should you opt for a sports drink, plain water — or a beverage that’s been around for thousands of years but has only gained market traction in the U.S. in the last few years, coconut water?
Nearly every convenience store in the U.S. sells at least one brand of coconut water, with soft-drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi each investing in a different label of coconut water, which is essentially the liquid extracted from a hacked, young coconut (and different from coconut milk, which is the pressed white “meat” inside the shell).
But is coconut water healthy? And is there any difference between shimmying up a tree, plucking a coconut and hacking it open with a machete and drinking its sweet juice versus doing so from a packaged box?
Coconut nutrition facts
One cup of natural coconut water (unpackaged) contains 45 calories, a very small amount of fat, no cholesterol, and most importantly, for rehydration purposes:
  • 9 grams of carbohydrate
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 15 percent of the daily value (DV) for magnesium
  • 17 percent DV potassium (more than a banana in a single serving)
  • 10 percent DV sodium
  • 6 percent DV calcium (also an electrolyte like magnesium, potassium and sodium)
Natural coconut water also contains other important minerals and vitamins, such as 10 percent DV of vitamin C. A big health bonus for natural coconut water: it contains 3 grams of dietary fiber (over 10 percent DV).
Packaged coconut water: The next best thing?
Have time to stop at the grocery store after work before you hit the gym to pick up some coconuts and hack them open with a machete after your workout? Didn’t think so.
Most Americans who drink coconut water will do so out of a box or bottle. Is this as healthy as all-natural coconut water? According to one popular brand’s website, the most glaring difference between natural and branded coconut water is the lack of fiber in the packaged bottles.
There’s also more sugar — twice as many grams — in packaged coconut water; not necessarily a bad thing if you’re working out and sweating profusely most days of the week, but for your average American, the relatively high sugar content (water, of course, has none) may outweigh any of the other rehydration benefits that packaged coconut water offers.

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Beets: Better Than You Thought

What’s the newest performance secret of endurance athletes everywhere? Beet juice. It turns out to not only be loaded with beneficial antioxidants but also substances called nitrates, which improve the efficiency of oxygen being delivered to exhausted muscles. Big time. Studies conducted at England’s Exeter University have shown a performance bump on the order of 16 percent in athletes who drank a half-liter of beet juice. America’s fastest marathoner, Ryan Hall, swears by it. If you’re not such a beet fan, you can also get a somewhat smaller nitrate kick from carrots, spinach, or radishes. And there are synthetic nitrates on the market, but you should know that they can cause side effects like “cardiovascular collapse, coma, and death.” Which makes the beet juice sound a little more appealing. [Outside]

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Why FIT is the new rich

Who cares how much you earn or what car you drive? Now you’re no one until you’ve run a marathon in the Sahara…

A strangely competitive conversation cropped up over Sunday lunch with friends last week. It wasn’t about jobs, children, or houses — it was about running.

‘I’m averaging 30-odd miles a week and my PB is a mile in seven minutes and three seconds,’ said one friend, before explaining to me that PB is runner speak for ‘personal best’.

‘I didn’t get a place for the marathon this year, but I’m going to try again next year.’

‘I did it in 4 hours 12 seconds,’ said another friend, who finished her second London Marathon. ‘It’s not my best time but my knee was giving me jip. Next year, I’m hoping to run New York and I might try an Iron Man.’

Iron what? She rolls her eyes at my ignorance and explains it’s a mixture of swimming, running and cycling.

Sounds hellish, if you ask me, but for my best friend’s husband, who has become something of a fitness fanatic since turning 40, this is a walk in the park. ‘Well, I’m thinking about training for the Marathon des Sables,’ he announced over dessert.

A collective hush filled the room. The Marathon des Sables involves running the equivalent of five-and-a-half marathons in the Sahara desert, where it’s quite common for participants to become delirious and collapse with heat exhaustion. I think you would have to be a lunatic or a masochist — possibly both — to even think about it but my friends felt differently.

‘That’s amazing,’ they sighed. It was like they were in the presence of a rock star.

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Woman Jogging

Does music help you to run faster?

‘Music is a legal drug for athletes,” claims Dr Costas Karageorghis, an expert on the effects of music on exercise, at Brunel University. In his latest book, Inside Sport Psychology, he claims that listening to music while running can boost performance by up to 15%.

If this is true, then the Rock’n’Roll marathon series is on to something. The events, a fixture in the US for almost 15 years, are extremely popular, with 450,000 people running in one of its 2012 races alone. Many other big city races have the occasional band along the route, and London has had the Run to the Beat half-marathon, lined with DJs, for the past five years. But on 15 April the UK finally got its first taste of the action, with the inaugural Edinburgh Rock’n’Roll half-marathon.

As I lined up at the start with almost 4,000 other runners, we were serenaded by Edinburgh’s Got Talent winner Caitlyn Vanbeck. With Arthur’s Seat towering above us, it was stirring stuff, and may explain why I shot off at the front, following the lead car around the first few bends.

After spending six months training in Kenya last year, I have become something of a serious runner, and finished eighth. This is important because, according to Karageorghis, the benefits of listening to music decrease with the level of intensity of the running. The faster you run, he explains, the less effect the music has.

“Elite athletes,” says Karageorghis, “are usually ‘associators’, which means they tend to focus inwardly when they are running.” Most other runners, he says, are “dissociators” (or are somewhere between the two). This means they look for stimulus and distraction from what is going on around them. “Judging by your times,” he says, “you are probably an associator.”

It is true. Apart from Vanbeck’s rousing Flower of Scotland at the start, when I was standing still, afterwards I can barely remember the music played along the course. The first act I passed, folk group the Deadly Winters, made me smile, and at one point I found myself running in synchronicity with the beat of a heavy-rock combo. But they were moments that came and went in a flash. I can’t say they helped my performance very much. But what did other runners make of it?

Adam Bull, from Leeds, had run the Hull marathon the week before with no music and little crowd support. “The music today made a big difference,” he said. “At the upbeat bands, you find yourself running to the beat, which helps. The music also brings out the crowds.” Bull was already a fan of the Rock’n’Roll series, travelling to Las Vegas to take part in one. How did Edinburgh compare? “Edinburgh was just as good. In fact, I think there were more bands here. But in Las Vegas there was a mass wedding ceremony in the middle of the race.”

Rosie Bradford, from Barnard Castle in County Durham, is also a convert. “As we ran past the band at mile three and they started playing These Boots Were Made for Walking, everybody suddenly went faster.”

The only person I found who was less than happy with the music was Lois Lloyd, from Liverpool, who ran in an Oktoberfest outfit. “There wasn’t enough of it, and it wasn’t loud enough,” she said. “I ran without my iPod for the first time ever, and I really missed the music.”

Karageorghis is not surprised when I tell him. “There are many advantages to using an iPod, rather than relying on the music on the course,” he says. “It gives you a constant stimulus, rather than just an occasional one, while you can tailor the playlist to your taste.”

One runner told me there was a direct correlation between the quality of the music on the course and how much it helped. But quality, of course, is subjective. I remember feeling annoyed as I ran past one band playing Keep On Running. Someone else, though, may have found it uplifting.

Karageorghis had a word of warning, however, about using an iPod. “It can lead to temporary hearing loss,” he says. “If you’re running for over an hour with loud music in headphones, there is a health and safety issue.” It is better, he says, to save the music for the end, when you really need a boost. “Like any drug, if you use it too much, it begins to have less effect.”

Of course, the music was not only there to help runners to break their personal bests (although sadly it was unable to help me beat mine), but to provide a sense of occasion, draw out the crowds and create a carnival atmosphere. Along with some spring sunshine, it certainly achieved that.

As I left, all across the grass in Holyrood Park people were sitting down, still buzzing on endorphins and slightly dazed, listening to the floaty sounds of the Scottish band Kassidy. It was a fitting way to end the day.

Full Article @ Guardian

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